Prepare for an emergency
Make a disaster less likely:
- Fire-safe your home by correctly storing flammable supplies, maintaining a defensible space in your landscaping, and keeping exits clear.
- Earthquake-ready your home by securing the water heater, heavy furniture, bookshelves, etc. Do structural upgrades when possible.
Make a family disaster plan:
- Discuss with your families what disasters are likeliest to occur, e.g.; earthquake, structure and vegetation fires, mud slides, blocked roads, power outages, etc.
- Practice DUCK, COVER, AND HOLD and know the safest part of each room.
- Learn the rules for SHELTER IN PLACE. Come inside, close doors and windows. Turn off ventilation. Listen to the radio (KCBS 740) for instructions.
- Discuss alternate evacuation routes.
- Plan two meeting places, one inside and one outside your neighborhood.
- Designate an out of state family contact and give all family members the number.
Prepare a Disaster Supply kit sufficient for 3 days:
- Water-3 gallons per family member
- Work gloves, pry bar
- Manual can opener
- Non-perishable canned and packaged food
- Change of clothing, rain gear, sturdy shoes
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- First aid kit, prescription medications, eye glasses
- Special needs e.g. baby supplies, pet food
- Battery powered radio, flashlights, and plenty of fresh batteries
Review your plan and check and or rotate supplies semi-annually.
The American Red Cross has an exceptionally well organized and logical website for beginning personal and family preparedness. There are general sections as well as information on children, pets, businesses and various other specific concerns. Go to the site directory. Click services, then disaster services.
This site deals with storm, electrical, and gas structural safety. It includes information on when and how to turn off the gas and the electricity. And how to prepare for blackouts. Seach…disaster preparedness.
The Association of Bay Area Governments’ site covers earthquakes and secondary hazards. There are maps that predict earthquake hazards, information on how to structurally prepare your house, information on other natural hazards, a section for kids and links to other earthquake sites such as the USGS. Under planning projects click on earthquake.
The Contra Costa Community Awareness and Emergency Response Organization has specific directions about Shelter in Place at home, school, and in the workplace.
The Federal Government Site includes information about natural disasters and terrorist possibilities including biological, chemical, and radiological events. FEMA offers a booklet Are You Ready, which can be ordered by calling (800) 480-2520.
The Department of Homeland Security covers terrorist threats and information on how to report suspected terrorists. It also acts, to some extent, as a clearing house for websites from other government and non agencies.